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Press release

UNICEF and Dubai Cares join forces to help provide education for one million children

New York/Dubai, 19 February 2008 – UNICEF and Dubai Cares announced today a new partnership to boost access for children to education.

The move is part of a campaign by Dubai Cares to bring education to one million children in need and help contribute towards Millennium Development Goal 2 – achieving universal primary education by 2015.

Dubai Cares was launched in September 2007 by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. In accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two partners, the Gulf charity will work closely with UNICEF to support education programmes in countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, South Asia and the Middle East.

“Education provides vital opportunities for children and helps communities break the poverty cycle,” said UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman.  “With the assistance of Dubai Cares, UNICEF can expand its support for education programmes that contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.”

According to UNICEF’s latest statistics, 93 million children of primary-school age worldwide do not attend school. Most of these live in sub-Saharan Africa (more than 41 million), South Asia (31.5 million), and the Middle East and North Africa (6.9 million).

His Excellency Mohammed Al Gergawi, Chairman of The Executive Office, said:  “For Dubai Cares, UNICEF is a natural partner as the UN organization has an incredible track record of more than 60 years in implementing projects to ensure children’s rights. It also has effective access to resources and expertise for coordinating large scale initiatives in a number of countries.”

Through its partnership with UNICEF, Dubai Cares will help build and finance a variety of programmes related to the value chain of primary education in developing countries. Using its expertise and presence on the ground, UNICEF will support actions to build new schools and rehabilitate existing ones, improve the quality of education, and achieve gender equality.


UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

About Dubai Cares:

Launched in September 2007 by HH Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Dubai Cares is a city-wide initiative that has raised US$1 billion to help educate 1 million children in poor countries. The funds will support education programmes by UNICEF and other partners.

For further information, please contact:
Geoffrey Keele, UNICEF New York, +1-212-326-7583, gkeele@unicef.org
Najwa Mekki, UNICEF New York, +1-212-326-7162, nmekki@unicef.org




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